Thus far in the season on the GP circut,
Alexandra Pauline is definitely the one to beat.
She is perfect on the season so far.
She won the Campbell's Classic rightly so over Kwan but,
I don't put too much stock in that. Kwan didn't start training until late August early September as she wasn't participating in the GP series.
Also, she was breaking in new boots and didn't have her loop.
I think the Winter Challenge re-match in about a week and a half between the two will be a better gauge. BTW, Michelle declined the GP because they wanted an answer in May and she could've give them one so she just declined. I don't understand why they needed an answer so soon anyways.
Cohen has become more consistent but, she's still continuing to make minor errors and not turning in clean performances(meaning no falls, hands down, or double footing's of jumps), but definitely an improvement.
It'll be quite an interesting match-up that'll progress
through out nationals and worlds.
As for the others of the GP.
IMO, Liashenko is benefiting from the lackluster fields
more than anything. With Kwan out, Sokolova coming back from knee surgery and not being in shape, Suguri being a late starter, and Slutskaya being ill it makes things a heck of alot easier for her.
She just won COR. However, if Kostner (who won the freeskate) was more consistent she probably would've won. Also, I just found at that Bebe Liang (who was second after the short be Elena) suffered an injury to the muscle in her leg which hindered her jumping and she fell to 5th place overall.
I think Cohen's real and only challenge this season on the GP circut has been Shizuka Arakawa who seems to be getting better and better with each competition. I love her program and if she can skate clean and with her 3/3 she can challenge Sasha in the finals.
NHK looks to have a great line up and I'm hoping that their are no withdraws. I really think that Jenny Kirk has a great chance to win especially if she skates the way she skated at SA! Definitely her best performance ever and the highlight of the entire competition for me!
I'd also like Yukina Ota to medal too, I just love her skating and she has an artistic flare and elegance that I've not seen from any other Japanese skater. If she can get those jumps consistent she'll definitely become a major contendor on the world stage!
I hope Jenny and Yukina both medal at NHK.
This season has seen many lackluster performances
in the GP and it just makes me miss Michelle and Irina
even more. I heard that Irina is back in the hospital and
I hope she gets well soon!